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Luke Wade and Matt McAndrew – World Cafe Live – Philadelphia, PA – January 19, 2017 (A PopEntertainment.com Concert Review)

Luke Wade – World Café Live – Philadelphia, PA – January 19, 2017 – Photo by Nick Bergmann © 2017

Luke Wade – World Café Live – Philadelphia, PA – January 19, 2017 – Photo by Nick Bergmann © 2017

Luke Wade and Matt McAndrew – World Cafe Live – Philadelphia, PA – January 19, 2017

There are many questions one may have for Luke Wade and Matt McAndrew since their appearances on season seven of NBC’s The Voice. Questions about their experience on the show, their plans going forward, and how they like their burgers cooked. For Luke specifically it’s medium well, and that’s exactly what he ordered straight from the bar just an hour before his performance at World Café Live. Matt and Luke both made their way around the bar greeting fans and family and even Matt’s mother, who was in the audience that night.

Before show time the two would return to the green room, as the stage was set up, but not long before emerging one last time for some extra ketchup. I had the great opportunity to spend some time with both of these guys and they were nothing but gracious, humbled and satisfied with the food. In fact, just about everyone who attended the show got to spend some time with these guys. They made it a point to greet everyone, staying by the merchandise booth until everyone had a turn for a picture and autograph.

McAndrew would take the stage first, to a very excited crowd which overflowed the seats – some people standing off to the side and some seated on the ground directly in front of the stage. There’s nothing more simple than the set up to Matt’s performance; it’s just him and his guitar. McAndrew came out just like a normal guy, chatting with people in the crowd.

He started with the song “Carried Away” off his new album. Before he started he explained that’s he would be using a loop-pedal technique and it was only his second show using it. I thought that may have been stage talk for it was his first time using it, but a straight answer was not forthcoming on that. McAndrew started with a basic guitar riff, looped. Then he added some bass notes and percussion sounds from his guitar to the loop, and played the song over that.

McAndrew also performed songs like “My Enemy,” “Come Close to Me,” and “A Thousand Years” – of course. After these, he took some requests from the audience. He played a mash up of his songs which the crowd had called out for. At one moment he asked the crowd “How many of you are fans from The Voice?” The answer came from a huge percentage of the club. McAndrew went on to finish with a cover of Ed Sheeran’s “Terrific Sea,” using the loop pedal once again to build the beat with bass and drum sounds. The audience gave him a roaring applause, but before they could miss him he was down in the crowd greeting people.

Between shows I went into the green room to find McAndrew by himself sitting on a sofa, just reflecting. He spent some time with me to get a photo, and we talked about being back in Philly – as he was educated here at The University of the Arts. He also mused on how nice it was to have his mom there for the show, and his travel plans for the next night’s show. He was very down-to-earth and willing to chat, but I left him in peace as Luke Wade was preparing to take the stage.

Wade came out alongside his band mates with a much different energy. They went straight into “Say It Out Loud” off their new album Only Ghosts, and addressed the crowd half way through the song. Wade thanked the crowd and said “It’s very hard to show up. Generally, you have to shower, sometimes there’s traffic; there’s a million reasons not to come.” Obviously he was being funny, but tied it together with “That is what this song is about.” Then Wade segued effortlessly back into the chorus, as the drums and guitar never stopped through the introduction.

There would be many additional small tokens of knowledge passed on by Wade throughout the set, as he would go on to spend many moments just talking in between songs. He played new and old hits like “I’m the Man for You,” “Say It Out Loud,” “The Runaround” and “Morning View.”

There was a moment where Luke said “There’s a line in this next song that goes: ‘Face to face with what you fear the most, I can show you that they’re only ghosts.’” He went on to say “Tomorrow is a scary day for a lot of folks,” talking about President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration, which would occur the day after the concert. Wade went on to say “I think we get the things we’re afraid of and out them between us and what we could have. The things we least want to share are the things we have the most in common. When you really love someone or think you want something or deserve something, it about getting all of THAT out of the way. That is what this song is about” Wade went on to play “Kiss and Make Up.”

Before you knew it the band was leaving the stage with an obvious encore coming. They returned to the stage to cover Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell’s “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” a great song for Luke’s voice. It was a perfect ending to a terrific show. Everyone in the audience felt most connected in those last moments.

I couldn’t say a bad thing about these guys. They have remained grounded through the experiences of being TV stars. Their fans come in one type – die hard, and it’s easy to see and hear why.

Nick Bergmann

Copyright ©2017 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: January 23, 2017.

Photos by Nick Bergmann © 2017

Click on thumbnails to see more full-sized pictures.

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